While it may be Lucia Embry's first year participating in DECA, she is certainly off to an impressive start.
After wowing judges at the Missouri DECA State Career Development Conference in March, she advanced to compete at the International Career Development Conference in Orlando.
She was one of 400 Missouri high school students to vie for the winning spot in problem-solving and real-world workplace events from April 26 through May 1.
The California High School junior said there are different competition events at the conferences.
"There is individual, team or written projects," Embry said. "I did an individual event where you have to do a test and do role- playing where I'm given a real-life scenario. I have to explain to a judge how I would solve it."
The combined scores of the test and role-play are what determine how a competitor will fare against rivals, Embry said.
A definite career path hasn't been formally set yet, but Embry "wouldn't mind being an accountant or even a financial adviser."
DECA helps students gain workplace skills through a co-curricular philosophy that melds classroom instruction and work-based experiences.